Evaluation of plus trees in cocoa (Theobroma cacao L.) for growth, flower, yield and yield contributing characters during the initial growth phase
The aim of this study was to evaluate the plus trees of cocoa for growth, flower, yield and yield contributing characters during the initial growth phase. Thirty five (35) plus trees in two different farmer’s field were recorded for their growth, flower, yield and yield contributing traits. Among the 35 plus trees, first branching height was observed highest in Tc (Vedapatti) 41, maximum stem girth was recorded in Tc (Vedapatti) 64, maximum number of fan branches was noticed in Tc (Vedapatti) 1. Flower characters like maximum number of flowers per cushion, number of cushions per tree and number of flowers per tree was recorded in Tc (Vedapatti) 61, while highest pod set percentage was recorded in Tc (Vedapatti) 121. The yield parameters like pod length, pod girth, pod weight, fresh seed weight per pod, single fresh bean weight, bean length, single dry bean weight and dry bean weight per pod was found maximum in Tc (Vedapatti) 99, while number of pods per tree was recorded maximum in Tc (Vedapatti) 110. The maximum husk weight and husk thickness was recorded in Tc (Vedapatti) 31, while lowest pod value index was recorded in Tc (Vedapatti) 99. The maximum number of bold beans per pod, number of beans per pod was recorded in Tc (Vedapatti) 72, while highest number of flat beans per pod was recorded in Tc (Vedapatti) 15. Among the 35 plus trees husk to seed ratio was highest in Tc (Vedapatti) 111 and highest estimated dry bean yield per tree was recorded in Tc (Vedapatti) 91. This study showed the variability for growth, flower, yield and yield contributing characters during initial growth phase and the variability present in the plus trees can be used in future breeding program to identify a suitable type for yield or these identified plus trees can be effectively utilized as parents for hybridization programme.
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